The Family

Released on September 13, 2013 0 comments

As much as we’d like to take our usual shot at Robert De Niro, it looks as though he’s finally landed in something worth looking at, not that our interest has anything to do with his presence.

“The Family,” is being pushed as Action/Comedy, and to its credit does come off surprisingly funny in some spots. The story revolves around a former Mob family gutting it out in witness protection, which for some reason, has them relocated to Europe. The issue is that every few months they have to be moved, due to one or all of them acting like the sociopaths they are, kids included. If they’re not blowing something up, they’re dealing drugs or beating the hell out of anyone who they think warrants it. De Niro is the long suffering and subdued father who can’t control the clan, with the spawns behaving the way their father used to, before he lost his sack.

Michelle Pfeiffer played a comedic Mob wife years ago and returns to those roots here, albeit with much more class and much less Jersey Housewife panache.

Still, none of this would have worked without the talented stewardship of Director Luc Besson. He is, after all, the Frenchman who re-defined how to shoot an action movie. His two Masterpieces, “La Femme Nikita” and “The Professional” are the gold standard. Like Wes Anderson, Besson coaxes his narratives within precisely measured panoramic proportions. You know you’re watching a Besson film because every shot is meticulously imagined, even if they come off as overly organic, which in a way, they truly are.

He’s an auteur craftsman who could offer Apatow and the rest of the current lens hacks a few lessons. Better yet, maybe he could shame them into leaving the business entirely.

We can always dream, can’t we?